Wednesday, January 28, 2015

UPDATE.....on Breast Cancer

December 16th I blogged out of turn with a VERY URGENT PRAYER REQUEST:  our daughter-in-law's mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer, etc.

Her name is Debbie and she met with the surgeon the next day.  He told her that she has Grade 3, stage 2 cancer and that they could not do surgery until she had very aggressive Chemo.  

They did a body PET SCAN on December 23rd.  It appears that the cancer has not spread....but given the type of cancer, they can not take chances.  She will have six treatments of aggressive Chemo (over an 18 week span); then a double mastectomy; then probably radiation and more than likely a complete hysterectomy.

A week ago, they did surgery and put her Chemo port in.  This past Thursday, January 22nd, she had her first aggressive treatment.

PLEASE keep her in your prayers.  Although the road is not impossible, she does have a very bumpy, long hard road ahead of her.

Pray that the Chemo works. Pray it does not spread.  Pray she is not too sick.  Pray that she will still be able to keep her insurance and income.  (Praise the Lord....she works from home as a medical transcriber.)

Also....pray for her family:  our daughter-in-law and son; her other two daughters and a son-in-law; her granddaughter; her mom and dad.

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS...............and like Tonya said, THERE IS POWER IN PRAYER.

Here is a picture of  sweet Debbie when her granddaughter was first that you can put a face with your prayers.  Thank you in advance for the prayers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

HELP....How Can I Encourage.....

Our church has been growing and was really on fire for God.  I mentioned several blogs ago to really pray for us because when "Good Things Happen", Satan is waiting to do whatever and use whoever he can to tear it down.

Satan is currently working over-time.  What started out as adding a little praise music to our Baptist Hymns and people complaining........quickly turned into "the younger ones that are on fire for God and bringing people in coming and going" the "older ones" complaining that the younger ones were taking over etc.

The "ones being used of Satan" are threatening to withhold tithes.  Roger told them to keep their money;  God would not bless money given so begrudgingly....and to not worry....God WOULD get HIS money and with interest.  It has gotten very nasty.

Our church is made up of about 80% of people under the age of 35.  However, the ones that are being  used by Satan, have now decided to wear those phones out and see if they can just get rid of the preacher.........".then the younger ones will leave...and their problems will be solved."

Roger is so close to throwing the towel in and walking away.  He says it is hurting his health, etc.  I feel that it is just Satan....and that most of our congregation is younger anyway, but he is so discouraged that he does not want to battle.  He said, "I have not done anything wrong.  All I have done is love them, pour our God's Word to them and try to keep peace."  I might add that initially, when he thought the battle was over the music, etc., he said if he left it would be because Roger wanted to leave and not because God said to leave....and THAT WOULD BE WRONG.  He then said, I KNOW this is the direction that God is leading our church so I am going to see it through.

This was ALL BEFORE they started the campaign to "VOTE THE PREACHER OUT".  

He feels it is a lose-lose situation and he is loosing a battle he never wanted to fight.

He said that right now if he leaves..........the younger 80% will leave and find them another church that they can work in and wins souls to Christ........and the 20% will stay, be happy and watch the church die along with them.

I keep trying to encourage him to not give Satan the victory, but it is getting harder and harder for me to encourage him when I am resenting all of the hurtful things and daggers when thrown at us.

I keep telling myself, what I tell everyone else........the people are not the enemy.  Satan is the enemy.  We need to pray for the people because they are being used of the the middle of the storm it is hard to let that sink in. do you encourage your husbands...when you are getting so discouraged yourself?  

This is tough.  We have at least five families that are wanting to join our church and we would not be surprised to see them walk the aisle at any service, but right now, Roger says that the way he feels, he could not let them join.........because he does not think it is fair to them to join into a war....and not even know what kind of  internal turmoil is brewing.

Please PRAY for our church and for Roger.  And, please, if you have ANY suggestions on how I can ENCOURAGE him when I don't feel very uplifted myself, I would welcome any and all suggestions.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mrs. Mahalia

On December 28, 2014, our church threw a BIG BIRTHDAY PARTY for Mrs. Mahalia Cooper, who was 100 years old.  She outlived her husband and all four of her children.  She buried one son last December and the last son in March.  The only thing that kept her going was.....for a year, she could not wait until her birthday party.  She was so excited that day.

After her party, she was ready to go home.  Less than a week later, she was in the hospital and from there went to the nursing home.  This past Thursday night, she met Jesus face to face.  I am sure she is running the streets of gold in her new body as I type this.

I know we all have "Mrs. Mahalias" that really make a mark in our lives, but I wanted to share mine today.  I feel very blessed to have known Mrs. Mahalia and called her a dear friend for eighteen years. 

I have blogged about Mrs. Mahalia at least twice;  once last December when I mentioned about the 99 year old who cooked a DELICIOUS lunch for us.  Then in July, I mentioned her when I posted pictures of Squash Relish that I had made from her recipe.  I even posted the recipe.

One day you will get to meet her face to face, but in the meantime, I would like for you to meet this dear lady.......

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Resolution to Be "That Mom"

I didn’t know I had done it.

I had prepared, fed and washed the last bottle for my youngest and, Lord-willing, last baby.

Actually, I didn’t have a clue that it was really truly over until I began to move the bottles from my kitchen cabinet to the Goodwill box.

After reading a blogged linked from Facebook, this past fall, I knew it was going to happen. The “have to” of prepping and washing bottles along with a laundry list of other parental responsibilities would be quickly passing. I would no longer “get to” do these things for my babies.

With my oldest child, I encouraged and welcomed these milestones. I couldn’t wait for her to dress, bathe and feed herself. Now, with feeling as though God has said our family of five is complete, I am not so anxious for these days to pass. They are fleeting quickly enough on their own.

So, over the holiday break, when any one of my three girls asked me to put them to bed, read them a story or play a game with them, I did it. When I felt tired, I reminded myself that THIS day is a gift from God and a limited opportunity to be with my child.  The day will come when I am no longer wanted at bedtime, or needed to prepare a PB&J.

As I've written earlier this week, I'm not really making resolutions this year. But, I am striving to see things differently. This part of my life is no exception.

The things I have thought of as endless chores, I will now see as a fleeting opportunity to be the mom I really want to be, the mother I am called and equipped by God to be.  Honestly, I guess I am committing myself to a change of attitude.

I am giving thought to how I do want my girls to remember me and I am committing myself to be  “that mom.” I don’t want my girls to remember me as busy or tired or hurried or hassled.

Like with any resolution, I know I will fail sometimes, and I am thankful that God’s grace will cover that.

Yet, unlike just any resolution, I have the equipping power of the Holy Spirit inside of me that will finish the work in me that He has begun. The same power that raised Christ from the dead will help me accomplish this goal as long as I keep Him –not my resolution, as  my focus. And I know He will be glorified with this attitude change. He will be pleased  to make me “that mom.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A "New" Thing NOT A Resolution

In my last post I mentioned procrastinating something I knew God was calling me to do. I am all too often more guilty of sins of omission than sins of commission. I know God is wanting me to do something and I put Him off.

One of those things I knew He was wanting me to do was to take up scripture memory again. I had lots of excuses, including the fact I can barely keep my three girls' names straight. (I am always calling each them by one of their sisters' names!) How was I going to be able to memorize scripture?

God was persistent though . . .

I had seen where several Facebook friends were participating in Beth Moore's scripture memory program and had intended to check it out . . . when I had the time . . .

Then a good girlfriend from the last church we served texted me. She said God kept bringing me to her mind and felt compelled to invite me to join her in that same challenge.

So, I did indeed check it out. As I read through the requirements, I knew God was asking me if I was finally going to be obedient. I knew I had to do it. However, I would NOT call this a resolution! For me this is all about faithfully doing what God had laid on my heart.

So, I was on board, but what scripture would I memorize? God had that covered too.

I scrolled through the verses other ladies all over the country had already selected. Then I saw it. It was the first entry with a picture so it caught my eye. Then I read the sweet lady's name. It was my maiden name. Ladies, my maiden name is Rambo, not a common name. I felt sure that this was God's way of pointing out what verse He wanted me to commit to memory.

The verse is:
"Behold, I am doing a new thing, now it springs forth; can you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19 ESV

Literally, within the following 24 hours, God confirmed that He is doing a "new" thing. He is a God of "new" and He knew that I would need the promise that He would make a way . . .

I did memorize it. My sweet friend has encouraged me and already held be accountable. We have begun our second verse too. This time I am working on Joshua 1:9. I have already been so blessed by this process. I am so thankful that He persistently pursued me into a closer, deeper walk with Him.

Dear Sisters, please don't neglect what "new" thing God is calling you to do today. Remember, each morning is a grace-given "new" opportunity for Him to do a "new" thing in you! You won't regret it!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy "New" Year

I just heard on the evening news that now is the time most of us give up on our New Year's resolutions.

What about you? Did you make any? Have you given up yet, or are you going pretty strong?

Me? I have seen a scant few pounds disappear from the scales. Overall, I am drinking more water. And, yes, I have made a trip to the dentist already this January. So, I guess I have seen some progress toward doing a few things I wanted to improve.

But, no, I wouldn't necessarily say, I've made resolutions. Those are supposed to be measurable and specific if they are to be kept. Right? Surely, if these things I'm doing are resolutions then I would have written them down somewhere or at least shared them with a close friend so she could hold me accountable. I've done neither of those things.

Instead, I've looked at January as a chance to take advantage of the "new" of the New Year. 2015 is His grace giving us a new year, yet He gives a lot of new.

Each dawn is a new day with new things that He has prepared in advance for us to do. Each day His mercies are new. Every morning God gives us breath, He gives us a new beginning.

God is a God of "new" things. He is making all things new. He is making me new.

Yes, there were a few things I knew He wanted me to do and I did sinfully procrastinate and wait until the New Year to begin them. But, I know that He's forgiven me and tomorrow is a new day no matter if it is the 1st of January or the 20th of January or even some random date in the middle of the year.

He is the God of new and He is mine. So, as I wish you a Happy "New" Year know that the happy "new" I'm praying for you is so much more than just a greeting used this time of year.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fish Bowl Living

I walked into the church building last Sunday all bundled up…it is really cold in January in Indiana…ready to teach my Bible study class and worship Jesus!  I was greeted at the door by the ‘designated’ greeter and another couple.  The lady said:

“Where have you been?”

Where have I been??  Well, I have been to Africa—but that was several years ago.  I have been to work—but that was a couple of days ago.  I actually have been to lots of places.  What was she referring to?  I just came from home….or my car.  Oh no!!  Did she see me run into the store and get the biggest Butterfinger candy bar that exists to woman and scarf it down as I drove??  Where have I been???  It was a loaded question…but I knew what she meant.  She had not seen me at church.

So…..I did some quick thinking and mental calculating….have I missed church?  Nope!  Been there!  Shew!!  Ah-ha….then it hits me!  I filled in for someone who could not work in the nursery because they were out of town so I have been doing child care more than my usual once-a-month time.

I smiled and said, “Oh, I have been here….perhaps I was in the nursery.”  And, because she has said things like this before, I went on.  “If you don’t see me, it doesn’t mean that I am not here.  I am here unless I am sick (as I say this to her I have no voice and am coughing and blowing my nose because I am sick...but at church) or out of town or work or speaking...” 

Her response?  “Well….whenever you are working in the nursery you need to first come in the sanctuary and walk down one aisle and parade (yes!  She actually said “parade”) across the front and up the other aisle so we can all see you!”

Gasp!  What did you just say?  You want me to “parade” in front of you so you can “see” me??

And…truthfully, I can’t remember if I actually said this….or was just thinking it….but I might have gone on to say to say something like, “I don’t stay home just for the sake of staying home (OK, well…maybe there has been a time or two that I stayed home because I wanted to).  I really am here!

Was she serious?  Was she kidding?  What was I to do with it?  Let it bother me?  NO!  Get all upset and frustrated and tell myself that I wish my husband did anything but pastor?  NO!  I let it roll off of my mind and heart like Rain-X allows water to roll off of my windshield.  I went on to my class as if nothing happened. 

And yet I ponder….is there some truth to what she said?  Do I need to make myself more “seen”?  My preference is to be more behind the scenes.  Is that wrong?

I remember something Diana said in her book, “Six Simple Steps:  Find Contentment and Joy as a Ministry Wife” about fish bowl living (have you gotten the book yet?  Have you read it?  This should be the last time I bug you about it!).  Yes, we sort of live fish bowl-type lives as people look for us to “parade” in front of them so they can “watch” us…but the truth of the matter is this:  the fish in the fish bowl pay no attention to those who stand around watching them!!!  They just keep doing their thing with their eyes on the food!!

So, ladies….let’s just keep doing our thing with our eyes on Jesus and not those who are peering into the fish bowl.